Mercantile, the gourmet grocer and takeaway coffee shop, has only been open for about six months in Rice Village, but it's already expanding and opening a new second location. Tucked into a strip center at the corner of Hawthorne and Stanford, the Montrose location makes some significant improvements to the original.
First, the store shares a parking lot with a neighboring dry cleaner and laundromat, which means the city will allow it to have seating and a public restroom. The ability to sit and enjoy a latte and croissant (sourced from Kraftsmen Baking) while utilizing the free Wi-Fi automatically makes the new Mercantile more appealing.
Just as before, local coffee roster Amaya supplies most of the beans, but Amaya owner Max Gonzalez is no longer directly affiliated with the venture.
"We're not just a coffee shop. We're a specialty grocery store," assistant manager Stacy Wright tells CultureMap.
"We're not just a coffee shop. We're a specialty grocery store."
She's right. Mercantile stocks to-go grocery items like milk and cheese, just as the original does. Even better, the new store merges the offerings of the original with sister store Plate & Bottle to provide a carefully curated selection of wine and beer. The shop has a separate seating area for wine tasting which will be held at least once a month.
While it seems like the last thing Montrose needs is another place that serves lattes, Wright says the response has been "insane." Mercantile tried to have a limited hours soft opening, but Wright explains that they're already operating at full strength since interest from the neighborhood has been so strong.
"People want to be everything we have," she says with a laugh. Indeed, one person walked in who's already enough of a regular to have a standard order.
Mercantile will celebrate its grand opening Saturday with wine tastings, samples from vendors and more.
Neighborhood residents should check it out. Just don't call it a coffee shop.
Mercantile is open everyday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.